Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

As you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, be sure to give thanks to President Abraham Lincoln, and even more so to Sarah Josepha Hale.  A prominent 19th-century journalist, Hale campaigned tirelessly for a national Thanksgiving holiday.  In the midst of the Civil War and prompted by Hale’s editorials and letters, Lincoln called the nation to pause in thanksgiving in 1863. His proclamation read in part:

“The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  Many other blessings have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.”

In that same spirit of thanksgiving – and thanks to the generosity of St. Joseph’s parishioners and visitors – the members of our Parish Outreach Committee agreed at their November 12 meeting to donate a portion of the proceeds from the church’s poor box to the Lincoln-Woodstock Community Chest.  The Community Chest will help provide area residents with Thanksgiving meals in two ways:  1) by providing food baskets to families in Lincoln, Woodstock, and Thornton, packaged with turkeys and dinner ingredients, and 2) by providing individually-prepared hot turkey dinners on Thursday morning to residents of the same area who otherwise would not have Thanksgiving dinner.

God bless you for thinking of the needs of others!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Fr. John Mahoney